I am writing to you now from the bathroom of my hotel room. Classy, I know. I just want to say that when hotel concierges see a family with two small children enter the building, they should immediately, before checking you in, offer a drink. Because, who knows what the car ride was like, and I’m telling you it probably wasn’t pleasant. And also, those parents are NOT going to sleep that night, no matter how comfortable the mattresses are. So, a nice complimentary welcome beverage would really start the stay off on the right foot.
We are on hotel two of our trip for the Trek Across Maine, which is a bike ride to support the American Lung Association. Bikers, such as my husband (hence my being here), ride across the state, stopping for the night at various locations. This is a three night, three day event. Justin’s job is to ride his bicycle 180 miles. My job is to tote the kids around to all the stops while he’s riding.
For the past two nights, we had the pleasure of staying at a lovely inn in Wilton, Maine, and we were lucky enough to have two separate bedrooms in the suite so that Harrison and Ella didn’t have to cohabitate. We thought this was the perfect solution, because we assumed Harrison would be a bit difficult to put down for naps and bedtime in a new place. We were right about one thing. He was difficult. I don’t think he could have screamed louder if I had pulled out each of his toenails one by one. And that was only for his nap. Don’t you worry though-it only took us four hours to settle him down, and then that sucker took quite a good rest. During the night he decided he must sleep with me and that would have been fine except he wanted to sleep in a 45 degree angle, so he’d be in the perfect position to kick me in the bladder every 20 minutes. We made it through though.
But then there was dinner time.
I can’t tell you much about the first night out to dinner because I had to take the two children back to the hotel before the appetizers even came. Ella has decided that 6pm is a completely acceptable bedtime, and although this is not a problem at home (she sleeps through the night, often waking later than Harrison in the morning), it is incredibly inconvenient when you want to do anything. Ever.
The second night was a little better. My little nuclear family comprised four out of our party of ten. At my end of the table, there were crayons and crackers all over the floor within fifteen minutes of our arrival. We had promised Harrison he could watch a show on my phone, but of course my internet wasn’t working there so that was a flop. He took the news well, but decided dancing around the table was a better option. Ella thought he needed a dance partner so she joined in. My nephew wouldn’t go to the bathroom without the “invincible magic bracelet” Justin made him wear, and thus, we all had to wear it when we needed to go pee. Just another day in paradise, my friends.
I turned around and noticed that behind me there were two very calm ladies sitting with two pleasant and well behaved girls. I considered moving my chair to their table, but I thought someone from my party might notice that I was gone. At one point I got to share some words with these ladies and it turns out that lots of kids go through these phases. I asked if my children would become normal, sweet, calm individuals who could sit quietly at a dinner table in public, and one woman assured me that, in time, they would. I’m holding her to it. As a matter of fact, she thought that my life looked so fun that she wanted to exchange numbers so we could have a playdate sometime. Some of you think I take a creative license when writing this blog, but now I can prove to you that complete strangers even find the natural state of my existence as a parent hilarious. So hilarious in fact, that I’m sure she just wants to hang out to see what else could possibly happen. Obviously, we’re going to hang out because it’s selfish not to share the fun.
Now that we have made it to night three of our adventure, I am a) exhausted, and b) thirsty. But you see, I’ll have to resort to wine, because just before I started writing this, I blew up my cup of Starbucks coffee in the hotel microwave. I haven’t had the chance to clean it up, because I’m waiting for Ella to fall asleep. That is, after all, why I’m in the bathroom. Being quiet. But of course, Justin and Harrison missed the memo about being quiet and came in RIGHT after she fell asleep the first time. “You got the stuff?” Justin asked. What am I, a drug dealer? Apparently I forgot to get together his and Harrison’s clothes while I single-handedly set up the pack and play, found a sheet for it (we’re now short on bath towels) and blew up my coffee in the microwave. So therefore it’s my fault that they woke her up, and if anyone’s keeping track, it’s always my fault.
I’m going to go find some wine now. And don’t worry, I won’t put it in the microwave.